Jump to content

Server Machine sufficient?


This topic is 5764 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Recommended Posts

I'm attempting to become familiar with our Server computer. I want to be sure it is set up correctly (removing screen savers, power-saver disconnected, enough RAM) etc. Could someone tell me if our system seems okay? We are using Server 7 Advanced (with all updaters) with (9) XP workstations:

XP Professional 2002 SP2

Dell Precision PWS370

Pentium 4CPU 2.80 GHz

2.79 GHz 1.00 GB RAM

No other programs are allowed to run (and only minimum even installed); firewalls & sharing are all off. We have RAID and multiple backups in place (thanks, Wim) and have a great UPS backup. Our Windows Server is 2002 (SP4 I think). There are other settings which concern me. Performance Options Advanced (Processor Scheduling) - Computer set to use greater share of processor time on Programs (not background services). Memory (Programs System Cache); Virtual - Total paging size set to 1536MB. And DEP (data exchange prevention) is turned ON. Do any Windows settings make a difference to FM server?

BTW, I can get NOTHING to display in System Monitor (uh, or whatever it's name - in Server Admin) except a red vertical line at the very beginning. I would like to monitor ... not that I would know what it meant if it did ... but I assume it's there because it's important. I have been reviewing all Server posts here but I still feel like I'm walking blind. Are there other resources which describe basics of networking, hardware and interconnection with FM Server?

Currently, I unserve and download it nightly so I also use the chance to reboot it, dump the temps and at least once a week run scandisk and defrag (whether it says it needs it or not). Am I doing okay so far?

LaRetta :wink2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Server is either 2000 (SP4) or 2003, right?

The server really should be set up to give priority to background services, not applications. By design everything that runs on the server runs as a service (in the background) so that the thing can run without without anybody logged in (for security). Somebody must have changed that setting because the default is for background services. If there are other apps running on that box that require that setting: they have to go. They will downgrade FMS's performance. Apps are also more likely to crash than services and whoever is in charge might not think to close the files before rebooting the machine...

There is an (older) whitepaper on FMS & networking on my website (www.connectingdata.com). It was written for FMS 5 but the basics still apply. It will also give you ammo to use against whoever wants to share the files through the OS. I believe there is a "Server best practices" white paper on the FMI web site somewhere.

On the System Monitor:

http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-5025576.html#

http://labmice.techtarget.com/troubleshooting/PerfMon.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you! I'm glad I asked about the background thing ... because it seemed like FM Server would be a background application. It has a few basic programs like Word. Should I uninstall everything like that? I removed shortcuts to it from Taskbar. There are several programs that load on taskbar (right by clock). Should I remove all of them? That means they're loaded in StartUp, right? I believe Norton is there. I'll strip it clean if it'll help us! Thanks for the links! I will study them immediately!

"Server is either 2000 (SP4) or 2003, right?"

Which server? Our network server is Windows 200x on system across the room. Our computer FM Server is as indicated above - listing XP Professional in My Computer. I took those figures right from My Computer General tab. Am I supposed to look elsewhere to find out if it's Windows 200x also? :blush2:

When we first purchased 7, I remember reading it needed Windows 200? something for networking (LAN). Owner confirmed that our server was (whatever it said). But that was before 'FM server' and he might have assumed I was asking about our NETWORK server? I might be running our solution on an XP machine and it needs Windows 200x? Oh dear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a similar question relating to a G3 tower (1gb ram) which is acting as a server for FM7 server advanced.

The database is running fine but will not work with IWP, i just get a Javascript error 802.

I spoke to filemaker (which took a couple of hours) and was eventually told that FM7 advanced is not supported on a G3 processor.

Does anyone know why that should be before I recomend that the company upgrade their server?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am actually surprised that you can get the Advanced version to run on Windows XP.

If you are using FileMaker Server Advanced on Windows you should be running Windows Server 2003, [color:red]not Winows XP Pro, a workstation OS.

The version of IIS installed on Windows XP Pro may have problems with FileMaker web publishing.

Also, I'd recommend at least 2 GB of RAM, 4 GB is there are multiple web connections.

Coincidentially just last evening I presented on this very topic to the FmQC Developer Group In Montreal.

HTH

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FileMaker Server and FileMaker Server Advanced are advanced level services,and they are not designed to be run on older CPU's or on older OS.

Before settling on a new server CPU, either Mac or Intel, review your database access and deployment requirements. Then you can better determine what specific hardware you actually need.

If you post those requirements back here,we can assist you.

HTH

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

" I am actually surprised that you can get the Advanced version to run on Windows XP."

Hi Steven,

We aren't using any of the Advanced stuff - not sure it's even installed yet. Owner installed Server and book for Web piece is sitting there. We won't be using the web piece for another 6 months or so; in fact we'll probably be completely in 8 by then. And I'll see that our RAM is increased.

So ... I have no idea what to do at this point. Is it hurting our files? Can this machine be re-formatted with Windows200x (or can it run dual or might it be on here already?). We just switched to this machine - that's why I'm going clear through it. I don't know what the original machine was running but Owner said this was a better system. We want to do what is right for FM Server. We'll purchase Windows2003!!

Steven, Wim ... I so appreciate the help on this. Should I get Windows 2003 on that machine before Monday?? Yikes! If the other machine was Windows2000, maybe I switch back to it tomorrow?

LaRetta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't pick up that the Server was on XP either. That explains the setting for foreground applications.

XP is not a Server OS. You can probably reformat the machine and install Windows 2000 Server (not Workstation, there are 2 flavors of Windows 2000 - 4 actually there is also Advanced Server and Data Center Server. You need the standard Server) but very likely the machine hardware itself is not server hardware spec. Meaning that it is much more likely to fail than real server hardware. You're not gaining much by installing a server OS on that box.

Is it hurting your files? Depends on how stable the machine is. It is certainly hurting your performance. It will hurt your files if the machine crashes. And the chances for that are higher than with real server hardware.

Your boss seems to show a careless disregard for his data and a general cheapness (you can quote me on that). How much does he value his data and the downtime caused by a system outage?

All other apps on the machine need to go. If for nothing else it will prevent people actually using it as a workstation. The machine itself needs to be in a locked room or closet somewhere to prevent people for getting at the files.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... was eventually told that FM7 advanced is not supported on a G3 processor.

Does anyone know why that should be before I recomend that the company upgrade their server?

That's a bit of strange question isn't it? If the manufacturer says a G3 is not supported it's because their product doesn't run or run well on it.

On Windows it doesn't run on a Pentium II or low-level (sub 1GHz) Pentium 3 either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I was trying to comprehend why IWP on a server takes more processing than FM server itself.

Because of its session based nature. As a practical matter if you're going to use IWP for fewer than about 35 guests, 2 GB RAM is generally enough. For over 35, 4 GB is pretty much required.

HTH

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a sequence of problems this morning. Everyone got popups saying to run a Windows Auto Update (I think it was set to automatic). No prob. Then everyone's FM locked up (coffee cups even when they weren't doing anything). Upon viewing server machine, Windows Update message was displaying. I attempted to say NO, don't update. It popped up message "Microsft Management Console" has quit responding. I made everyone reboot, went into SAT and stopped Server 7. It was taking 10 times longer than normal and never finished ... then produced the message:

Could not stop on local computer. Error 1053. The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion. Same thing happened with Server Helper - they both hung in a stopping position. I then executed from command line fmsadmin stop. It also froze at the DOS prompt. Back in Windows, Server 7 continued to display "stopping" ... forever stuck.

I had to reboot. :tears:

Server then started (startup set to Automatic). We opened the file and didn't get a 'scanning' message! I hope that indicates it HAD closed the files properly before locking and it didn't crash!! But SAT logs the entry as an ERROR and says, "Event ID: 462 Unknown File Error Occured: OurFile Error: 5". The second error listed (a minute later) was application hang - MMC.exe Event ID1002 (which was the Microsoft Management Console).

Two questions please:

1) Can I trust that the file didn't crash or should I assume it might be damaged (even though it didn't produce the 'scanning' message)? According to tech article AnswerID 5445 (when I searched for Error 1053), "Stopping FileMaker Server (fmserver.exe) [color:red]may appear to fail ..." This is a good sign, right? Maybe it just APPEARS to have failed. I sure hope so.

2) Why did we crash? Was it because of the Windows Auto-Update (I thought I had removed all background and apps from that machine) or was it because of insufficent hardware/software (using XP instead of Windows 200x)? We won't get our new server for a few weeks - I quoted Wim's statement to Owner about being cheap (smile).

Suggestions would be most appreciated. Soooooo, do I have to do another migration yet tonight? I just realized ... I don't get paid enough to deal with this kind of stress. :hair:

LaRetta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The error "The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion" is usually an indication of sub-standard hardware.

Time for a decent machine :

I would assume that the file is damaged. It may not be but I'm paranoid when it comes to that.

Also as a rule, try not to stop FMS until you have closed all databases with the SAT tool. Only then shut down the service.

Having FMS auto-start is also not a good idea. What if the server crashes badly and someone doesn't tell you and reboots the machine: FMS will keep working with the crashed files. Do that enough and you may introduce corruption in the files.

Automatic Windowds updating: typically I would do that manually on a FMS box. (Same on OSX by the way). That gives you the chance to see if the update breaks something as far as FMS is concerned. Let somebody else be the guinea pig. It's been a while since a Windows update did break functionality but better safe than sorry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wim, I learned several good lessons from this.

In the moment of crisis, while everyone in the office was standing up and hollering throughout the company, "Hey! Can I get back in yet?" and other similar statements, I felt the blood leave my brain. I will be better prepared so that, in those brainless moments, I can still act rationally (even if it's just following a listed process).

I will turn off automatic Windows update. And turn off automtic start. I think that's what happened before ... it restarted and everyone started working again (while I was gone one day). I didn't find out it had crashed for several days (and 50 hours work) later. I've had to re-do this portion of my design three times now. The logs and I are becoming very good friends.

I'll migrate into new empty clone. Heck, I'm getting good at it ... this will be my 6th migration in 3 weeks. For the time it's cost me, we could have purchased 3 servers ...

LaRetta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Migration complete. After recovery and migration, I wanted to see if I could find any damage in the original file (curious). It had bloated by 35MB. It was missing a few indexes. I went clear through the file, definitions, CFs, layouts and scripts. All looked fine and I beta-tested it quite thorougly - none showed field missing, function missing etc. But the file was most certainly broken because my last test - running Compact and Optimize - froze halfway through, producing Unknown Error. File has been damaged.

Now ... I've had other files survive Compact/Optimize only to display broken layouts, so don't consider a file safe just because it passes the Compact/Optimize test. For those that take the risk and continue to use a file which has crashed, it isn't worth it. It might have been weeks (and hundreds more hours of design put into it) before the evidence appeared. And then it would have to be trashed anyway. Pay the price now or pay it later ... :wink2:

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[color:red]File Maintenance/Compact File should never be used on possibly damaged files. 

Laretta:

Kindly, gently, but firmly, you are way out of Best Practices on this entire deployment. I recommend:

1. Get a real server with a real server OS.

2. Make preparations for the permanent loss of your data if you do not immediately export all of it to a text file, so it can be reimported into a clean and undamaged version of your files.

3. Develop and reduce to writing an entire set of protocols for managing the server and the digital assets. Present these to management for adoption and approval.

4. Review FMI Tech Info Notes 5594, 5371, and 5241.

Any questions, please feel free to contact me directly or post to FSA Tech Talk.

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Steven,

I just woke up.

I didn't run Maintenance on the file to attempt to retrieve it. I ran RECOVER and retrieved only the data for import into new empty uncrashed clone. I only ran Maintenance on a COPY of the original trashed file while testing it for damage. I wanted to see if I could find damage - and I wanted to see - if we HAD kept the file which looked very-much okay, if we would have regreted it. File Maintenance was part of that test. I apologize if I didn't make that clear in my prior post - I thought I had but I was quite tired. :wink2:

And yes indeed, I emailed Owner right before I posted the above message. I included Wim's comments about 'time for new machine' and Error 1053 being indicator of faulty hardware etc. I explained everything to him very clearly. We won't wait two weeks for a server; in fact I would bet we have one today (although I won't know because I'm taking the day off). They had already agreed to the purchase the day you and Wim told me (in the posts above). They just didn't act quickly enough.

Oh. And I've already documented a process in case of problems - did that before I went home yesterday and I will also review (and add) information from the Tech Info articles you cited. And all Management has already read and signed a (quite lengthy) description of our situation and a Hands Off memo. Well Owner just called and says he can't get a server here by today but he is working on it on critical level. He says he'll install Windows 2000 sp4 on it unti the server gets here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Owner just called and says he can't get a server here by today but he is working on it on critical level. He says he'll install Windows 2000 sp4 on it unti the server gets here.

Be sure new server is running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. That's the approved and certified OS for FileMaker Server 8.

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both for all your help. I've done something that you both will find quite strange (not surprising from me) ...

I renamed my FM server WILBUR.

Because when someone is new to networking (and first purchases FM for small LAN or peer-to-peer) and they read that the server should be Windows 2000 and they only have ONE server (their network server), then they will make the same mistake we made. So that, when 18 months later purchasing FM server, it slid by us. An error on my part for sure - but nonetheless an easy mistake to make.

When we purchased FM Server, FileMaker website stated: Windows software requirements 1-50 Clients:

http://www.filemaker.com/products/7/fms/requirements.html

* Windows XP Professional*

* Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition

* Windows 2000 Server SP4

* Subject to Windows XP license terms

Why do they list XP under SERVER requirements? Why don't they only list Windows 200x? From the perspective of someone new to FileMaker, I would bet I'm not the only one that has misinterpreted which SERVER was referenced and also misinterpreted these system requirements. Thus in our office now, our network server is just plain 'server' and FM Server is Wilbur so there is never confusion when we discuss the two. There is another place (when searching for Server 7 requirements) which ONLY lists Windows 200x. I believe it's in TechInfo.

I was not hired as an IT. But thanks to your help, I'm learning. I'll make sure Wilbur has Windows 2003 standard edition on it! And Wilbur and I will become great buddies when it arrives. It can't be too soon in my book. :wink2:

Respectfully,

LaRetta

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why do they list XP under SERVER requirements? Why don't they only list Windows 200x?

I don't know. Marketing I think, trying to sell more licenses to those who don't want to spend the money necessary for a stable deployment.

IMHO it's a bad mistake and leads to exactly the things you're going through now, and eventually to bad publicity for FM...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is 5764 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.